Rezatta, the life-matters Renaissance plane — UNCOMMONS Set Design

Hello everyone!  :)

We're moving on to the next phase of the Set Design of Rezatta — the uncommons! — so, I figured it was time to create a new thread so more people could jump in. Here's a summary of what the set looks like so far:



Rezatta is a custom set on the theme of Renaissance. It has a unique mechanical core as a "Life-Matters" set.

Many people have participated over the years, here's a summary of all the previous threads about this set:Thankfully, you don't need to read any of that as I'm about to summarise everything right here   :D

I — WORLD BUILDING


The world of Rezatta is inspired by the Italian Renaissance era, with of course some magical twists. Among the main themes of the set are:

Living Art — The art is so beautiful on Rezatta that it spontaneously comes to life!
Church of Serra — Serra is reborn and everyone praises the four values or her Church: Art, Peace, Freedom and Discourse.
Progress — Rezatta is swarming with geniuses that are waiting to make the next scientific breakthrough.
Carnival — This is a time of celebration, people are throwing banquets and parties all over the plane.
Exploration — The people of Rezatta are sailing abroad in hope of finding new worlds to explore.
Spring — The Renaissance of Rezatta is mirrored in the seasons, as dull winter suddenly turns into colourful spring.
Humanism — This is represented in an original way through anthropomorphised animals.
Emotions — The mysterious Muses of Emotions are wandering the plane, inspiring artists, inventors, and explorers alike.


Story wise, the plot is still to be decided but here are some of the main characters we know about (note that they will appear as modified versions with different names, like Hapatra representing Cleopatra in Amonkhet):
  • Da Vinci makes an appearance in the story, he's a genius and also a planeswalker. His most brilliant works are often inspired by things he's seen on other planes in the Multiverse.
  • Mona Lisa is also in the set as a living art. True to her mysterious smile, she has many secrets to unravel.
  • Eco is a new character from this plane. She's a young girl that can't speak with words. However, she's able to communicate her emotions through music.
  • Serra, the old-school planeswalker, is finally back and the story will get to tell how she's reborn.
On top of that, we're still discussing many other aspects of the story. While we still haven't decided what will be the main conflict, Mona Lisa is our front runner as main antagonist. We're also considering an art thief as our main male protagonist to go in tandem with Eco. We've entertained the idea that Eco is a fragment of Serra's soul and is destined to be sacrificed at the end of the story to be reunited with Serra.


II - MECHANICS


Rezatta has a completely new overarching mechanical theme. It is a "life-matters" set, in the same way as there are graveyard sets, artifacts sets, factions sets, etc. Rezatta cares about your life total in whole new ways.

The set introduces four new keyworded mechanics:

1) THE LIFE-MATTERS GLUE


Renaissance — If the sum of all life gained and lost this turn is 3 or more, EFFECT.


P.S: We're looking for a better name for that mechanic that would convey the idea of a Renaissance era, but in a made-up MTG way that adds a twist to it.


2) THE NEW TYPE OF LIFE POINTS


Serran life (Pay 2 serran life: Add one mana of any color.)

 

This mechanic introduces a whole new type of life. Not unlike the Monarch mechanic from Conspiracy: Take the Crown, it's a bit on the complex side with a few rules that are not mentioned in the reminder text, so it is accompanied by a reminder token. It works like shield points in any other game, and it's counted as part of your life total. You always lose serran life before regular life unless you control the source that made you lose life. Here are a few examples of how it works:




3) THE GENIUSES MECHANIC


Masterwork (Choose a creature you control as this enters the battlefield. It becomes your only masterwork.)



4) THE SCIENCE & EXPLORATION MECHANIC


Discover (Look at the top card of your library. You may cast it. If you don't, you may put it into your graveyard.)

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Comments

  • III - THE COMMONS


    For complexity reasons, they're organised around five overarching Wedge themes (the set, however, doesn't have a multicolour theme so no tricoloured cards). Note that the commons are not set in stone; even if we move to uncommon, we can still change them. 

    WUR: Cares about you casting two spells a turn. It's a disruptive aggro archetype that accumulates value.
    UBG: Cares about Art creatures entering or leaving the battlefield under your control. It's based on recursive combos.
    RBW: Cares about you losing life. It's an aggro archetype that uses your life total as fuel.
    RGU: Cares about your life total being even. It's a midrange archetype that will reward you by making your creatures bigger.
    GWB: Cares about you having serran life. It's a control archetype that wants to protect your life total at all cost.

    As you'll notice, Art creatures are emphasised with a different frame, the idea being that we can use more unusual art styles with them to set them apart.

    WHITE —


    BLUE —


    BLACK —


  • RED —


    GREEN —


    COLOURLESS —


  • edited June 15

    IV - THE UNCOMMONS


    We're now moving on to adding the first uncommons to the set! The uncommon set skeleton is a little looser than common as I've learnt while dissecting the uncommons skeleton of various existing sets, so I'm going to give a list of slots to fill instead of a rigid grid like last time.

    A - DRAFT ARCHETYPES


    The uncommons will be organised around ten bicoloured draft archetypes. As we need to expand upon the themes of the commons, the five ally-coloured archetypes need to follow the distribution of the five common wedge themes:

    WU: Second spell-matters. (Disruptive Aggro)
    UB: Art tribal recursion (Combo)
    BR: Suicide aggro (Turbo Aggro)
    RG: Even life growth (Midrange)
    GW: Serran life-matters (Control)

    In addition, the five enemy-coloured archetypes need to connect the two wedge themes they're sharing. For instance, RW is shared between, WUR second spell-matters and BRW suicide aggro, maybe it could care about small cheap creatures for instance, as they're both good in a turbo aggro deck and it's easy to cast two per turn. Those archetypes are open to suggestion, I have proposed one example below but it's not decided yet:

    WB: Life swings (Disruptive/Midrange) Care both about gaining and losing life.
    UR: Discover-matters (Disruptive/Control) Cares about the mechanic discover.
    BG: Graveyard (Combo/Midrange) Cares about the graveyard.
    RW: Weenies (Aggro/Disruptive) Cares about small cheap creatures.
    GU: Masterwork (Midrange/Combo) Cares about the mechanic masterwork.

    B - BUILDING THE UNCOMMON SET SKELETON


    Uncommon set skeleton vary greatly between sets. They all have 80 uncommons per set, you usually have between 10 and 13 monocoloured cards per colour, the rest divided between colourless and multicoloured depending on the themes of the set. Here are examples:



    I decided to go with a classic 12 monocoloured cards per colour, with ten bicoloured cards and 10 colourless cards, like M20. Now, based on some research I did on several existing uncommon skeletons, here's a list of things that I believe we need:

    1) In general, uncommons should have:
    - A cycle of cards that are exciting in a vacuum (like Syrs, or Demigods)
    - A few hate cards for things specific to the set
    - A few cards that offer alternative strategies to typical draft archetypes
    - A 10-card cycle of bicoloured signposts for draft archetypes (like Necropanther and Parcelbeast)
    - A few good artifact creatures
    - At least one artifact removal (like Entrancing Lyre or Icy Manipulator)


    2) Each colour must have:
    - 12 monocoloured cards
    - Between 6 and 8 creatures
    - At least one directional card for each draft archetype
    - At least one good removal
    - At least one big creature
    - At least two catch-up features (for instance, small wraths or huge threats)

    3) WHITE should have the following staples:
    - At least one good exile removal (like Swallow Whole or Banishing Light)
    - At least one protective spell (like God's Willing or Fight as One)
    - Sometimes a good pump spell (like All that Glitters or Gird for Battle)



  • edited June 15
    4) BLUE should have the following staples:
    - At least one good counterspell (like Neutralize or Mystical Dispute)
    - At least one card that deals with permanents (like Frogify or Captivating Gyre)
    - A repeatable way to draw cards or loot (like Guild Summit or Pollywog Symbiote)



    5) BLACK should have the following staples:
    - At least one cheap conditional removal (like Heartless Act or Drag to the Underworld)
    - At least one reanimation spell (like Unbreakable Bond or Cauldron's Gift)
    - At least one repeatable removal (like Zagoth Mamba or Pharika's Spawn)
    - Sometimes a spell that picks a card out from the opponent's hand
    - Sometimes a spell that gives -X/-X to all creatures until end of turn



    6) RED should have the following staples:
    - At least one damage spell to any target (like Fateful End or Slaying Fire)
    - At least one damage spell to creature (like Flame Spill or Soul Sear)
    - Sometimes a repeatable damage spell (like Weaponize the Monsters or Havoc Jester)
    - Sometimes a repeatable impulse draw spell
    - Sometimes a spell that deals up to 2 damage to all creatures



    7) GREEN should have the following staples:
    - At least one ramp spell (like Migration Path or Cultivate)
    - At least one repeatable card draw (like Edgewall Innkeeper or Garruk's Uprising)
    - Sometimes a recuperation card (like Fungal Rebirth or Once and Future)
    - Sometimes a big pump spell

    V - CONCLUSION: WHAT NOW?


    It's time to close this astonishingly long introduction x) 

    So, what do we do from here, and what can you do if you want to participate? Here are some of the things we need right now:

    • Propose some ideas of bicoloured archetype that synergise with the themes.
    • Propose uncommons that push the existing themes.
    • Propose side themes that would create new synergies.
    • Propose interesting staple designs to fill the slots.
    And, as usual, ideas for the story plot and cards that are flavourfully tied to Renaissance or any other theme of the set are welcom regardless of their rarity!

    Thanks a lot to everyone who participated so far! Everyone is free to come and go as they wish in this project so don't hesitate to drop any idea or feedback that crosses your mind :) I hope we'll get a good time with the uncommons now!

  • Is it all right if I join? I've seen activity on the other Rezatta threads, and I've always been interested in joining, but this is the first one I've felt comfortable actually trying my hand at.
  • And now, to start things right up, here are a few cards I was thinking of adding:

    1) At commons, I added the card Museum Thief with the idea of making a vertical cycle of cards in black that hates on creatures whose power and toughness aren't equal (which is supposed to represent beauty). So, for the uncommon member of the cycle, I wanted to try a cheap black conditional removal spell since forever:

     

    2) Since the beginning, everyone is asking for serran lifelink and I said we'll do it at uncommon. I don't now yet what are the most adapted stats, but we're definitely doing this now XD


    3) In the list of things I was pushing out of common purposefully, there also is instant-speed discovery. Now that we're at uncommon, time for some flash creatures and other surprises! Here's a first idea:


    4) Red being the most aggro colour is obviously going to necessitate a bit of attention so it's not completely hosed off by all the life gain in the set. It definitely need some efficient burn, and a couple ways of preventing life gain to go out of control. Here's a first try at it:


    5) I figured one of the fun things we could do with discover is have a couple cards that care if they are cast from your library, à la Fblthp, here's an example (I actually used "not cast from your hand" so it synergises with UBG Art recursion and stuff like blink or reanimation):


    6) Among the things that I think are pretty cool but too swingy for common is what I call the "Energy-like" serran cards. That is, cards that give you some serran life, and then have an effect that scales with your serran life. Here's an example: 


    __

    In parallel, I was thinking of that one exciting cycle we get in each set (Syrs, demigods, mutate with an ability that scales with number of mutations, etc.) and figured we could make a cycle of exciting legendary Art creatures loosely based on famous art pieces?

    I also still haven't really cracked the code of how many side archetypes there should be aside from the draft archetypes. They don't always appear and their colour distribution is weird which makes me think they are part of very loose cycle with unnoticeable themes like "just aggro". I'm going to assume they are based on monocoloured themes for now, so I'd like one card in each colour that opens a new synergistic theme you could care about less often in draft if you wanted to shake things up a bit. Here are some ideas:

    WHITE — Could care about Angels and Clerics tribal.
    BLUE — Could care about mill, it synergises with discover.
    BLACK — Could care about Legendaries, since Renaissance calls form more than usual.
    RED — Could care about enchantments/equipments to synergise with midrange themes.
    GREEN — Could care about the number of colours spent to cast spells, since Green is best at colour fixing and serran life adds another way of adding any colour of mana.


  • @SpellPiper2213

    Absolutely, everyone is welcome ^^
  • Neat!

    I actually came up with something while I was looking over the tri-color and two color things, and I noticed that RWU cared about casting two spells a turn and RU was focused on the Discover mechanic. So I thought that maybe there could be an RU card that copied a spell that was cast with Discover. I'm not sure how that would fit in, but it's something that could work.
  • edited June 15
    @SpellPiper2213 here's my shot at it:

    Copycat Inventor                   (2)(R)(U)
    Creature - (dunno) Artificer
    -------------------------------------------
    Whenever you Discover, you may discard a nonland card from your hand. If you do, copy the spell you discovered. You may choose new targets for the copy.

    [1/1]
  • @SpellPiper2213 @Scaccogaming

    I like the concept! I think there are ways to make it less parasitic (so it works with other MTG sets that don't have discover) and I believe copying spells repeatedly like this is probably rare/mythic material rather than uncommon. Also, I like the original idea of SpellPiper2213 of making it synergise with the Storm theme. Copying the spell won't count as casting an additional spell, but I believe there are ways to cast copies of spell, I'd need to look into the details.
  • For the UBG Art tribal theme, I got two very simple cards that I think would be great because they can be picked up by virtually any deck in their colours, but get additional value when played in an Art deck:

    1) For the mandatory black reanimation spell, just a regular Rise from the Grave that makes the creature an Art would trigger all the synergies while playing into the recursion theme. I added a +1/+1 counter for tracking purposes.


    2) An expensive green Art creature that fights when it enters the battlefield would be a very simple way of filling the mandatory Green removal slot while also providing an excellent target for all the recursion tools of the UBG archetype.

  • @ningyounk
    I'm bookmarking this because I'd love to help when I get the chance.
  • edited June 15
    Hey @ningyounk, I'd be happy to help some! I'm also working on my set, Ozorion, which was partly inspired by Rezatta, so I feel like I ought to do something here. While I wasn't active during the common design phase of the set, I was following along with the process, and checking it out daily.

    I'll offer some general feedback here and there when I can. Here's one thing that's been bugging me a little: 

    You've been previewing a few cards so far that cost one mana, and result in you gaining 2 serran life, as well as another small effect. (Light of Hope, Serran Gift, ect.) While this might seem small, I would be wary in doing this because, on top of them being "free", you can get any number of triggers from casting instants and sorceries, casting your second spell each turn, ect. Additionally, because they give you the 2 serran life, you can trade the one green mana for a mana of any color, on top of getting the additional effects of the card and triggers. Just something to watch out for. 

    Loving this set! (:
    -Ral


  • edited June 15
    Hmm... Seems fun. Why not.
  • @Ral1000

    Yeap you're totally right on the one-mana free spells that gain you 2 or more serran life, they are meant to be scarce and be scaled accordingly. Basically, there is one such spell that I purposefully added in the file at common, it's in green which is the colour of mana fixing and ramp so I thought the design was actually an occasion to do that in a unique way that fits the set, the card is Serran Gift, and it doesn't do anything else but give you life.


    I suppose I wouldn't mind having the same thing in White at uncommon as well, just to synergise with the WUR storm archetype. Something like this maybe: 


    But other than that, it's not on the menu. So yeah, the card above, Light of Hope, was definitely a bad example ^^ Here's another try at the kind of ways we could care about the amount of serran life you have (Faithful Envoy):

     
  • edited June 15
    Is "Serra" a planeswalker?
  • @joemamajoe May I suggest a White aura for the GWU front? Based on how White needs a protective spell, I was thinking about an enchantment - Aura, which gives protection from art creatures. Would it be too niche?
  • edited June 15
  • edited June 15
    @The-DM

    Yeap, Serra gets a planeswalker card, to mimick the one she got in Modern Horizons:



    @Scaccogaming

    Protection from Art is a bit too niche yeah, it can be a flavourful bonus on a card that does something else that's relevant, but just that would not be enough to justify a slot in most decks, I think. I could see something like "As CARDNAME enters the battlefield, choose a color. Enchanted creature has protection from Art and from the chosen color" maybe.

    The-DM

    For the side themes, we won't have a lot to work with, it's not like the main themes, so I'd rather have the cards do something by themselves that become better if you decide to opt into the theme. For instance, for Serra's Avenger, instead of saying "Other Angels and Clerics you control get +1/+1", it could say "3W: Put a +1/+1 counter on target Angel or Cleric". This way it can target itself, but it gets more interesting with other Angel and Cleric cards. The Serra rider is also a bit too niche, it's more of a planeswalker deck thing, unless yo have a set dedicated to a planeswalker like Chandra in Core Set 2020 that had a planeswalker card at uncommon.
  • Seems legit @ningyounk.
  • Wait, you said that Angel + Cleric tribal for white. ^^^

    WHITE — Could care about Angels and Clerics tribal.

  • But OK. I'll change it soon.
  • @The-DM

    Oh, the theme is a valid example, but we need to execute them thinking there is less support for them in the set that, for instance, Art tribal. "3W: Put a +1/+1counter on target Angel or Cleric" is still Angel/Cleric tribal! Just, a version of it that doesn't need as much support as a regular lord.
  • edited June 15
    @ningyounk
    Could we rename the Renaissance mechanic: Renewal 

    Maybe the Serran Life reminder card could be worded:
    If a source you don't control would cause you to lose life, you lose serran life before non-serran life.

    Any chance we will see Dack Fayden? Do we have a planeswalker slot left potentially?

    This ability might need to go on a rare, but I think it should be present in the set:
    Each Art creature you control has all of your masterwork's abilities.
  • @Faiths_Guide
    That final input is very parasitic, depending on two mechanics. I'd think it'd need to land on like a three ability card that defines a masterwork and gives a masterwork an ability as well as making art tokens in addition to the recommended ability, and by that point we're reaching fairly high levels of complexity. 
  • edited June 15
    @Lujikul
    Good point!

    Maybe just an Art creature (Imitation?) that get's all abilities from all Masterworks in play?
  • Yay! You got this out! Bookmarked it already! I'll post some stuff soon, but good to see that the cleric theme got used. Does that mean my Temple could possibly work(With reworking)?
  • @ningyounk couldn't we just rename "Renaissance" the english version, "Rebirth?" It's a catchy name, and it represents the mechanic really well. I don't think people will immediately think of Renaissance when they see it because most people don't speak french, and it's not a niche word or anything. Just a thought.
  • I guess Rebirth would be a name that's too similar to "Undying" in a way, or misleading anyway. I'd go with "Renewal" as suggestes by @Faiths_Guide. It's more appropriate.
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